The 23rd regular season for the San Jose Sharks came to a conclusion tonight with a 3-2 win in Glendale, Arizona against the Phoenix Coyotes. Team Teal finishes this season at 51-22-9 good for 111 points. While this is great and all, we all know what the season is based on. But while San Jose has struggled lately, these last two games, they really have come together for a full sixty minute effort.
In the first period, the team's MVP, Joe Pavelski, finally hit the 40-goal mark at 3:43 with a quick wrist shot and at 9:56 with a one timer that beat call up netminder Mark Visentin. For the Big Pavelski, he became the first to hit 40 for the Sharks since Patrick Marleau's 44 goals in 2009-10. He joins Owen Nolan, and Jonathan Cheechoo along with the aforementioned as the only Sharks to score 40+ in a season.
For awhile it looked like it would take two goals would be the only goals and enough for the win. Ahhh not so fast as Phoenix's Mike Ribiero scored the lone goal in the second period. Despite that, Sharks netminder Antti Niemi looked fairly solid throughout the contest. His 30 saves were a building block after Wednesday's nightmarish start against Anaheim.
Logan Couture and Shane Doan swapped goals in the first minute of the third period as they closed out the scoring on this night. Sharks win 3-2 in their final tune up before part three of the epic rivalry showdown against Los Angeles. San Jose will have at least three days off before opening the Western Conference Quarterfinals at home against the Kings. The schedule for all eight first round matchups is expected sometime tomorrow night. Expect NBCSN to simulcast Comcast Sportsnet California's coverage for all seven games of the Sharks-Kings with Randy Hahn, Drew Remenda, and Bret Hedican behind the microphones.